Saturday, June 23, 2012

Cake and Pretty Covers

Papademetriou, Lisa. Confectionately Yours #1: Save the Cupcake!
1 May 2012, Scholastic

Hayley is having enough trouble adjusting to middle school without having to deal with her father's new girlfriend, her mother's unemployment, or the fact that she likes one of her friends who is a boy... kind of as more than a friend. Her family has moved into her grandmother's apartment above her struggling tea shop, so Hayley spends a lot of time helping out, creating new recipes for cupcakes and trying to get her grandmother to realize that she has to keep up with the times if she wants her business to be successful. Can Hayley manage to keep her life together and make it through the year without any major catastrophes?
Strengths: The cover. An easy sell right there. I can't order enough realistic fiction for girls to keep up with the demand, especially when there is a little bit of romance and some cupcake recipes thrown in.
Weaknesses: I've had enough about cupcakes and struggling tea rooms, but my students absolutely have not. Why is this not in hardcover? Hasn't Ms. Papademetriou written enough that she should get a hard cover? I think so!

The sequel, Taking the Cake comes out 1 September 2012!

SOOOOOOO pretty!

Tracy, Kristen. Bessica Lefter Bites Back
13 March 2012, Random House Children's Books

This sequel to The Reinvention of Bessica Lefter picks up with Bessica heavily invested in both her position as school mascot and in reestablishing her friendship with Sylvie. However, she's still disorganized, and forgets a mascot meeting, which gives her co-mascot, Alice, a chance to schedule all of the good games. Sylvie and Bessica are still not quite in sync, and get involved in a nasty text message battle that ends in them not speaking. Bessica is also worried about her grandmother because she doesn't like her grandmother's new boyfriend, fearing that he is taking her away from the family. Sylvie and Bessica reconcile, only to have Bessica ruin Sylvie's birthday party. Bessica also disgraces herself as the mascot, although she does have a small break through with cute neighbor Noll.
Strengths: Great covers, realistic characters, and authentic middle school experiences make this a series I think my girls will like to read.
Weaknesses: VERY high slappage factor with Bessica. I didn't like her at all, which led me to muse about the characters in the contemporary, realistic fiction I read in middle school. Certainly, I adored Anne Shirley, Betsy Ray, and Laura Ingalls, but did I read contemporary fiction because I liked the characters? I have a feeling that many of them were slightly annoying, but that they made me feel better about myself. Hmmm.


  1. I love "slappage factor." Mind if I appropriate the phrase for casual conversation?

  2. Feel free to use "slappage factor" as well as "Pilkey line"! There are some things that occur so frequently I need special terms for them!

  3. I love all these covers - they are all so fun. I haven't heard of any of these but I definitely want to check them out now. Save the Cupcake looks awesome! :)